Becoming a Guardian for an Elderly Loved One

What Is the Role of a Guardian in Mississippi?

As more Americans are living longer, the number of seniors who will eventually become unable to care for themselves is increasing.  If you have a loved one who is struggling to manage their affairs, whether it is due to dementia or advanced age, you may wish to consider becoming their legal guardian.  As a guardian, you will play a vital role in the care of your loved one. Your role will come with duties to which you must closely adhere. Our Brandon, Mississippi elder law attorney discusses how you can become a guardian and what your duties will be below.

Creation of an Adult Guardianship

Adult guardianship is the legal process by which the court gives you the custody and care over an adult who has been found incapable of making their own reasoned life decisions.  A guardian is given comprehensive control over the living arrangements and everyday care of the ward, or elderly individual who has been deemed to be unable to make their own decisions.  A conservatorship provides the conservator with the power to manage only the finances of the ward. Often, the court will appoint the same individual to manage both the care and finances of the elderly individual in need of assistance.

In the state of Mississippi, the chancery court will appoint a guardian or conservator and offer supervision over their care.  As a conservator, you will need to provide the court with thorough records and must check in with the court regularly. Your duty as a Mississippi guardian or conservator is to always act in the best interests of your ward.  As such, you will want to take the ward’s medical, social, and financial needs into account as you make any decision affecting them.

One of the most important decisions you may be called upon to make is where the ward shall reside.  You will need to carefully consider the type of care required by the ward. Nursing homes, home care, and memory care facilities are all options for an elderly loved one in need of more assistance than they would receive living at home alone. 

Should you find your loved one struggling to make reasoned decisions, contact an elder law attorney to explore your options.  Your attorney can assist you in determining whether a guardianship may be appropriate to ensure your loved one receives the care they need.